Visit Brechin and the surrounding villages and stay in bed & breakfast accommodation:
Brechin, Angus. Standing on the South Esk river, and built of the local red sandstone in continuous use from the 13th to the 19th centuries, Brechin lies at the heart of the agricultural land of Strathmore. Looking up the valley of that name, you may see a background of hills that culminate in the Eastern Grampians. The best view of the precipitous streets of the old town is from the river bridge on the Arbroath road. It was created a royal burgh in 1641, and is essentially an East-coast town with its roots deep in the ancient good farming land of Angus.
Its roots too are deep in history. It was here that the “Toom Tabard”, the ignoble John Balliol, on the 10th of July 1296, with an obsequious solemnity, handed over the realm of Scotland to Bishop Bek of Durham for him to pass on to his master, Edward I of England. It was near Brechin, too, that what might be called a battle of mixed Border and Highland clans was fought in 1452. The chief participants were the Douglases and the clansmen of Huntly.
The small cathedral, now the parish church, is mainly 13th century in construction, but exists upon a foundation of King David I of 1150. Before this there had been an early Culdee abbey of which few, if any, physical remains still exist. The cathedral was woefully, one might almost say wantonly, treated in 1807 in a fit of early 19th century “cleaning up”. It was on this occasion that the transepts were completely demolished. The authorities, however, salvaged what they could in a wise restoration and part-reconstruction during 1900—2. The choir, a pleasing and delicate example of lancet work, had been left in near-ruins after the Reformation. The restorers in the early years of this century, however, were able to roof it over and put in windows. They were compelled to rebuild the transepts entirely, but were guided as to their dimensions by excavation.
Among the older features that were thus uncovered and preserved is a fine old West window, and a broad projecting tower, surmounted by a spire, which had been built by Bishop Patrick around 1360. The piers in the nave come from two periods in the 13th century. In the North aisle we go back to the earliest stones of the building in the form of a notable cross-head in the Northumbrian style of c. A.D. 900.
The “round tower” is attached to the church and is believed to date from the 10th or 11th centuries. It is 87 ft in height, 15 ft in diameter at the base, and 12½ ft at the top. Its interest lies in the fact that, both in the decorations of its doorway and in its shape and design, it is very like those Celtic medieval towers found in Ireland, occasionally in Scotland, and nowhere else in the world.
Brechin Castle lies close to the cathedral, and used to be extremely well fortified. It stood out for three weeks against Edward I of England during his overwhelming campaign of 1303, and fell only after the death of its Governor, Sir Thomas Maule.
The Castle was rebuilt in 1711, and is still the seat of the Earl of Dalhousie, who is head of the Maule family, descending from the heroic Sir Thomas Maule.
Nearby towns: Arbroath, Carnoustie, Forfar, Kirriemuir, Laurencekirk, Montrose, Stonehaven
Nearby villages: Aberlemno, Ardovie, Bridge of Dun, Careston, Colliston, Craigo, Dubton, Dundee, Dunnichen, Edzell, Farnell, Fern, Ferryden, Fettercairn, Fordoun, Friockheim, Gannochy, Garvock, Glenogil, Guthrie, Hillside, Inchbare, Inverkeilor, Kingsmuir, Kinnell, Kirkton of Menmuir, Letham, Logie, Lunan, Marykirk, Maryton, Noranside, Oathlaw, St. Cyrus, Stracathro, Tannadice, Usan
Have you decided to visit Brechin or the surrounding villages? Please look above for somewhere to stay in:
- a Brechin bed and breakfast (a Brechin B&B or Brechin b and b)
- a Brechin guesthouse
- a Brechin hotel (or motel)
- a Brechin self-catering establishment, or
- other Brechin accommodation